I am a real fan of Zorin. Very few distributions work perfectly straight out of the box. There is always one hurdle or another that needs to be jumped in order to get the system into a state of readiness.
Generally though once you get past the little intricacies that must be performed to get a Linux operating system working they work very well. For instance recently I wrote an article about Bodhi 2 (http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2012/09/bodhi-210-quick-albeit-little-quirky.html
). In that article I noted a few problems I had getting MP3s to play and using the Bodhi App Installer. I have now been using Bodhi 2 for almost a month on my Acer Aspire One Netbook and I have no plans to change it because it fits very well with the way I work on my Netbook. Zorin OS 6 does not seem to have any quirks that need ironing out to get it working. It just works.
This article is not about Zorin OS 6, it is about Zorin OS 6 Lite. Now the goal of Zorin is as follows:
“The distribution’s ultimate goal is to provide a Linux alternative to Windows and let Windows users enjoy all the features of Linux without complications.”
Zorin OS 6 Lite is designed to work on computers that have lower resources available than is required to run Zorin OS 6. Zorin OS 6 adds a bit of razzmatazz with the use of Compiz and the applications included have a heavier footprint than Zorin OS 6 Lite.
If you can’t decide whether you should run Zorin OS 6 or Zorin OS 6 Lite then the following specifications may help:
||Zorin OS 6
||Zorin OS 6 Lite
||700 mhz x86 processor
||286 mhz x86 processor
(Information copied from http://zorin-os.com/faq.html)
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Introduction Zorin OS 6 Lite
Zorin OS 6 Lite is based on Lubuntu 11.10 and uses LXDE. As you can see from the screenshot above the look and feel will be quite familiar for Windows users. There is a single task bar at the bottom with a start button and quick launch icons and in the bottom right system tray icons.
The default look and feel in Zorin OS 6 Lite is meant to imitate Windows 2000. One of the great things about Zorin is the ability to change the look and feel to make it look like another operating system.
The Zorin look changer in Zorin OS 6 Lite gives you the choice of the Windows 2000 desktop or the Mac OS X desktop.
Connecting to the internet
As Zorin is built on a derivative of Ubuntu connecting to the Internet is easy. If you are using the Windows 2000 desktop click the icon in the system tray next to the clock in the bottom right hand corner. If you are using the Mac OS X desktop the same icon is next to the clock in the top right hand corner.
Both my main home broadband and mobile broadband connections were available. Simply entering the encryption key had me connected within seconds.
Zorin OS 6 Lite comes with the Chromium browser which is good because it is my favourite and it saved me downloading it from the repositories. If you prefer to use a different browser you can run the Internet Browser Manager and install your preferred option.
Is Flash installed?
Generally once I have installed an operating system I try the same things out to make sure I have a base system which can be built upon. After connecting to the internet I always go to YouTube to make sure I can watch videos. Now some of you might think watching YouTube videos isn’t really a life or death situation but I use YouTube as a learning aid (http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2012/09/the-5-best-sources-of-support-for-linux.html
Zorin OS 6 Lite did not let me down. Flash was installed along with the operating system.
The next thing I try after the internet and YouTube is whether MP3 files play within the provided music player.
The music player installed within Zorin OS 6 Lite is Audacious. Now Audacious is nowhere near Rhythmbox in terms of functionality but I was able to load in all my MP3 files and play them which means all the codecs for playing MP3s are installed along with the operating system as well.
Zorin OS 6 Lite is definitely lite on the software front. I have already mentioned that for browsing the internet Chromium is installed and that Audacious is available for listening to music.
There are the standard set of tools that are common to LXDE including calculator and the Leafpad editor. There is also a terminal and sticky notes.
The graphics section of the menu is lacking with just a document viewer, image viewer and scan facility.
In the internet section as well as Chromium there is the Pidgin Instant Messenger program and Postler Mail client.
For Office software there is Abiword for writing documents, Dexter for organising contacts and the Osmo Personal Organiser.
Installing extra software
There are a number of ways to install extra software within Zorin including the Software Center, Synaptic and the Zorin OS Lite Extra Software tool.
Now the item of software missing from the installation that I really needed was a screen capture tool. The extra software application doesn’t have one of these listed but as you can see there are some useful tools and so upon seeing the above screen I thought it is always good to have WINE installed as well as the VLC player.
Remember at the beginning of the article when I said that a lot of distributions have one or two hurdles that need to be jumped to get it working perfectly. Well here it is. Upon clicking the install button of any of the applications I received an error.
I decided to run Synaptic instead to install a screenshot tool but the list of available packages was very small. Now at this point I did two things. Firstly I placed the USB drive back into the drive that I used to install the system and I enabled the repository for the USB drive. Secondly I clicked Reload.
After performing these steps a much larger list of software was made available including the screenshot tool which has been used to provide the images for this article.
I then realised that the problem with the Extra Software installer might have been caused by the lack of available software in the repositories so I ran it again and this time when I tried to install VLC player it worked.
Zorin 6 OS Lite is very good and makes for a perfect base installation to work with. As there are very few packages installed you can customise Zorin 6 OS Lite in any way you see fit. Maybe you want to create a games machine or if you want to use it for everyday use you can always install the heavier office software applications like LibreOffice.
If you have an old computer and continue to run an older version of Windows then you know that the people who created it don’t care about you any more, making you susceptible to security risks with substandard software and no support. It is a much better proposition to run Zorin OS 6 Lite with applications designed to work on older systems and that are still supported.